During class two weeks ago, the guest instructor talked about a couple of interesting episodes he had recently experienced. God used him to heal some people. He’d gone shopping to get a gift for his wife. Sometime before shopping, he’d noticed what he called a ‘hotspot’ and ‘sympathy pain’ in his wrist. He said he gets those sometimes when God is prompting him to pray for someone. He’s also very practiced at being obedient to those signals.
At the store where he was shopping he was extremely aware of the hotspot in his wrist. He asked the sales associate at the store if she was experiencing any problem with her wrist. She apparently looked quite surprised as she explained that, yes, she does have a lot of trouble with her wrist. He told her God wanted to heal her wrist. He prayed for her, and she noticed immediate improvement in the troubled area. The instructor also had been experiencing unusual pain in his big toe that day. He asked the associate if her toe was bothering her. She looked surprised again and told him how much her afflicted big toe affects what shoes she can wear. He told her God wanted to heal her toe. He prayed for her. I don’t remember what he said about her response.
After he had moved on to another shop, the hotspot was still in the instructor’s wrist. He interpreted that to mean that there was more work to be done. There was a person working at a laptop nearby. So Mr. Obedient went to the person and asked if he was having wrist trouble. Mr. Laptop looked shocked and said, yes, he’d broken his wrist many years ago, and it still bothers him a lot. Obedient told Laptop that God wanted to heal Laptop’s wrist. Obedient prayed, and Laptop immediately described an improved range of motion after the prayer.
There was no high drama in these episodes. Our instructor was simply obedient to the promptings, and two people were subtly blessed with unexpected mercy from God. Those two people likely had a much better idea in the evening than they did upon waking that morning that God is really there, and He loves them.
At class three weeks ago, the leaders asked us to briefly pray and see if anyone got a sense that there were any particular maladies in room. Someone called out that they believed someone was dealing with mouth problems. One person said that he’d had dental problems for a few years, and he was unable to comfortably eat or drink anything that was at extreme temperature. He said there was visible evidence of the problem in one part of his mouth. For the record, this is the same guy that I referenced in ‘Hello, Man. Hello, World’, who identified that someone (me) in the room was dealing with a gristly wrist; and right after that, I was blessed with a massive and dramatic healing while someone prayed over me.
Our instructor asked everyone with a physical problem to stand up. Those of us who hadn’t stood up were to go pray for someone who was standing. I remember after the prayers and during feedback, the man with the mouth problem reported he was suddenly able to comfortably drink cold water. He cheerfully demonstrated for us in the room by drinking a cup of chilled water. I didn’t think much of it, owing to a strange combination of skepticism (“Riiiight”) and jaded-ness (“OH WOW LOOK IT’S another healing ho hum zzzzz”).
The following week, after the instructor discussed his Day of Wrist Hotspots, he asked people to give feedback regarding the healing prayers I referenced in the last couple of paragraphs. Healed Mouth mentioned that, one week since the prayer, he was still experiencing total relief from the sensitivity, despite obvious visible evidence that the physical problem remained. Pretty cool.
After class, I saw a friend of mine talking to the gratefully healed man. From what I briefly overheard of their conversation, it had apparently been my friend that had prayed the healing for him. I verified via email the next day that she had, in fact, been the pray-er. She said she was very encouraged by the healing. I was encouraged by knowing that God had used her to apply a blob of heaven to someone’s dental discomfort.
After that class, I went by the grocery store to grab a few things. There was a guy there that I recognized from church. He was near the pharmacy section when I was still shopping for food. A few minutes later, when I was heading to the check out, I saw the man again. He was squatted down and intently looking at items on a shelf, still in the pharmacy area. I walked past him and got the distinct impression that he was shopping on behalf of someone in his family who was sick. I kept walking for a few steps. I stopped. I was still stinging from losing my hotspots earlier in the week, as an apparent result of rebellious thoughts. More on that later. The point is I didn’t want to waste another opportunity.
I believed there was a chance to pray for healing in someone in the man’s family. The man and I had made cordial superficial greetings in church several times over the years, but we’d never actually had a conversation. I went and introduced myself to him, there in the aisle. I asked him if he or anyone in his family needed prayers. He told me his son was sick, and he was looking for medicine for him. I suggested that I should lay hands on the man and pray for healing, and that he should take that prayer back home to his son. He agreed to that arrangement. I put my hand on his shoulder and prayed, thanking God for the man and how much he loved his son. I asked God to help the man father his son in the best ways possible. I blessed the man in the name of Jesus with the ability to lay hands on his son and heal the sickness. The man smiled and thanked me. I bought my groceries. The next time I see the man at church, I will ask about his son.
Disclosure: the man was squatted in what I thought was the children’s medicine area of the pharmacy section. He’d been in the pharmacy area for several minutes. So, I decided that he was intentionally searching for medicine for someone, probably a child. Or, God told me that the someone in the man’s family was sick and needed prayer. I don’t know which one it was. Either way, it was a chance to pray for someone.
(Paragraphs edited for clarity, 11/26/13) – Christ either lived, or He did not. If He lived, he either equated lust with physical adultery, or He did not. I believe He lived, and I believe He equated the two. I do not believe He was given to wasting anyone’s time with idle chitchat. Physical adultery is an overt act of the body that begins in the heart; hidden lust (or anger, jealousy, pride, etc…) is a transgression of the heart alone, invisible but to God. God is concerned with the condition of the heart, because it is there that our true selves are manifest.
When I was crawling with hotspots that signaled potential power to heal, I entertained some thoughts I had no business thinking. The state of my heart was temporarily corrupted, and the hotspots left. Clearly, God has nothing but imperfect people to work with, and I have faith I’ll have other chances. But it seems more likely to me now, during this season of learning, that even a temporarily rebellious heart can have a negative impact on how effective we are in showing God’s glory and power to the world around us.
In summary of hotspots:
early 2009-2011 – hotspot in left thigh, off and on for a couple of years. “Why is this happening? I think it’s the Holy Spirit.”
late 2013, D-Day – hotspot in left calf and right thigh. The return of hotspots. “Why? Holy Spirit?”
D+2 – email exchange with class instructor, in which he describes hotspots as potential prompts to pray for healing in others; I text back and forth with a friend who has a problem in an area similar to my first hotspot of 2013. We are enthusiastic that I should pray for his healing, based on the signal in my leg.
D+4 – I text my friend and tell him my that my hotspots are gone and why they are gone, and I explain that I’m no longer hopeful that I can successfully command healing in his leg.
D+5 – guest instructor in class describes his own hotspots and how God uses them to prompt him to pray for healing.
Lord, help me choose to be a blessing to those around me, to those whom you put on my heart. I want to be a maximized asset in service of Your Kingdom. Amen.